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 Monday, 6 January, 2003, 19:49 GMT
Wendy house 'needs planning consent'
Katie and Ben Goodwill
Katie and Ben Goodwill: "Very upset"
Two children in Lancashire have been told they need planning permission for the playhouse in their garden.

Hours after the wooden house was erected, planning officers told them it would have to be taken down if permission was not secured.

Ben and Katie Goodwill, from Barnoldswick, will have to wait until Tuesday night before Pendle Borough council makes a decision on the house.

Their parents, who gave it to them, argue it is just a "harmless toy".

The offending Wendy house
It's not in the way, it's in the garden - but it seems the council has decided there is a problem

Audrey Goodwill, grandmother
However, the council said the wendy house, which is on the side of the family home, was an "unauthorised development".

"As the wendy house borders a highway, the law states that planning permission is required," a spokesman said.

"Although unauthorised development is not an offence, the householder has been asked to apply for planning permission or move the wendy house, but has not done so."

He stated that at this stage the family could still avoid having to move the house, if the council decided no further action was necessary.

Children 'devastated'

"Nevertheless, we are legally bound to consider enforcement action and we are following planning legislation," he said.

Eight-year-old Ben and his sister Katie, six, are said to be devastated that their playhouse, given to them as an early Christmas present, may be moved.

Their grandmother Audrey Goodwill said the council's behaviour was "absolutely stupid".

She said: "The house hadn't been up long when the council got in touch.

"It's not in the way - it's in the garden. But it seems the council has decided there is a problem. The children are very upset."

Mrs Goodwill said the children's parents Julie, a teaching assistant, and David, an engineer, are planning to fight the council's decision if they are told to pull down the wendy house.


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30 Oct 02 | England
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